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Alchemy – Dyadic

by Santiago Puyol at 06 June 2019, 7:09 AM

ALCHEMY is an Italian Melodic Hard Rock band, which debuted in EP format in 2013 with the release of "Rise Again". "DYADIC" is their second album, continuing the release of the debut LP "Never Too Late" in 2016. A band that takes inspiration from the more melodic Hair Metal and Arena Rock, with a strong 80's sound. Inspiration falls into mere nostalgia throughout much of the album. Although things have a relatively powerful beginning with "Cursed", where the somewhat cliché sound of synthesizers doesn't feel out of place, the album shows its obsession with sounding like it was from four decades ago following the dramatic "One Step Away" and derivative "Endless Quest". The guitars soar, the solos are powerful and demonstrate an impeccable technique, the rhythm section does its job, but the passion seems to be lost under a layer of outdated synthesizers and a glossy production.

The power ballad "What It Takes" serves as a great change of pace, with an extremely emotional guitar solo. Soft acoustic guitar textures and beautiful piano sections breathe life into an album that starts to sound too samey. Unfortunately, things don't stay that little level in the next two songs. Not even the catchy bass line on "Nuketown", courtesy of Matteo Castelli, or Matteo Severini's great drum work on "Day by Day" save both songs from the out-of-fashion sound of the songs. The band shows its true potential in the last three songs of the album. "Goodbye" is a beautiful ballad, which makes excellent use of the piano and synthesized strings, with a sound that although it evokes the 80's never stops sounding like a song from the 21st century. It is an excellent duet between vocalist Marcello Spera and guest (and vocal producer) Davide "Dave Rox" Barbieri. Meanwhile, "Take Another Shot" has an intricate and interesting guitar work and a peculiar and subtle organ solo that makes it stand out on the album.

The album closes with its heaviest song, "Prisoner", in which guitar and organ complement each other perfectly by playing the main riff, bringing a peculiar depth to it. Spera’s vocal delivery is much more aggressive than in previous songs, while Severini makes creative use of tom-toms to build tension and maintain a sense of movement. The European versions of the album bring as bonus track the acoustic version of "Goodbye", with guest Steve De Biasi replacing Barbieri. This version shows the most intimate and passionate side of the band, in "unplugged" format. There is a little surprise after seconds of silence, for those who have enough patience. All in all, “DYADIC” is an album that could be better. The songwriting feels derivative for most of the record, so it’s not entirely a production issue. The keyboard work by Andrew Trabelsi is also not to blame, although the tone and sound do ask for an update to the 21st century most of the time.

It manages to be fun at points, but only the last three songs, plus the bonus track, feel more than simple rehashing of 80’s cliché. The band has the talent, something the instrumental work shows, which makes the end result more baffling.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Cursed
2. One Step Away
3. Endless Quest
4. What It Takes (feat. Stefano Zeni)
5. Nuketown
6. Day By Day
7. Hero
8. Lost In The Dark
9. Goodbye (duet with Davide “Dave Rox” Barbieri)
10. Take Another Shot
11. Prisoner
12. Goodbye (Acoustic Version feat. Steve De Biasi – Exclusive European Bonus Track)
Marcello Spera — Vocals
Cristiano Stefana — Guitars
Andrew Trabelsi — Keyboards
Matteo Castelli — Bass
Matteo Severini — Drums & Percussion
Record Label: Street Symphonies Records


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